Florence Johnson, who has been an educator for more than 30 years, began her career as a teacher in Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) at the Benjamin Franklin Elementary School. Her commitment to improving education led her to develop skills in strategic planning, grant writing and research. She has served as MPS director of human relations; proposal evaluator with the U.S. Office of Education in Washington, D.C.; senior research scientist and director of the National Center for Effective Schools, UW-Madison; and MPS coordinator of parent services.
Johnson has ongoing research interests in school and classroom effects and their impact on academic achievement of students of color, particularly African-American and Hispanic, and the relationship of those effects to academic sense of futility or feelings of hopelessness and academic achievement. Her research also includes the effects of parent involvement in African-American and Hispanic children's education. She received her M.S. in curriculum and instruction and her Ph.D. in urban education from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.